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A Preliminary Reconstruction of Rainfall in North-Central China since A.D. 1600 from Tree-Ring Density and Width

  • Malcolm K. Hughes (a1), Wu Xiangding (a2), Shao Xuemei (a3) and Gregg M. Garfin (a4)

May-June (MJ) and April-July (AJ) precipitation at Huashan in north-central China has been reconstructed for the period A.D. 1600 to 1988 using tree-ring density and width from Pinus armandii. MJ precipitation (based on ring width and maximum latewood density) calibrated and cross-validated against local instrumental data more strongly than AJ precipitation (based only on ring width). A major drought was reconstructed for the mid- and late 1920s, confirmed by local documentary sources. This drought (culminating in 1929) was the most severe of the 389-yr period for MJ and second most severe for AJ, after an event ending in 1683. Neither reconstruction shows much spectral power at frequencies lower than 1 in 10 yr, but both show concentrations of power between 2.1 and 2.7 yr and 3.5 to 9 yr. There are significant correlations between the two reconstructions and a regional dryness/wetness index (DW) based on documentary sources, particularly at high frequencies. These correlations are focused in the 7.6- to 7.3-, 3.8- to 3.6-, and 2.5-yr periods. Using singular spectrum analysis, quasiperiodic behavior with a period close to 7.2 yr was identified in the MJ precipitation reconstruction and in the DW index based on documents.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
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